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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Global warming increases possibility of heat extremes

March 29th, 2012 by Susan Smith

According to several top scientists, the March heat wave that has shattered records across a wide swath of the U.S. bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.

In email conversations, those same scientific researchers who specialize in studying the role climate change plays in influencing individual extreme events — a burgeoning field known as  “extreme event attribution” — said global warming may have made March’s soaring temperatures more likely to occur, although they add that natural variability has played a key role as well.

Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue. Photograph: Terra/MODIS/NASA

Since March 12, more than 7,000 warm temperature records (warm daily highs and warm overnight lows) have been set or tied, including numerous all-time monthly high temperature records.

Although studies have not yet been conducted on the main factors that triggered this heat wave and whether global warming may have tilted the odds in favor of the event, scientific studies of previous heat events clearly show that global warming increases the odds of heat extremes.

-Guardian Network

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Category: climate change

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